Saturday, January 8, 2011

babies and alcohol

Can we talk about mommies drinking during pregnancy or nursing?

Is that allowed?

I feel like this is one of those issues that leaves reason, science, and measured responses out.

But I would like to talk about it.


 "...the alveoli take proteins, sugars, and fat from your blood supply and make breast milk."

This is interesting, and raises more questions for me.  From when my baby-mamma was checking her blood sugar multiple times a day (watching for gestational diabetes) we know that there is a significant lag between something going in your mouth and that same stuff hitting your blood.  In general, that lag seems to run ~ 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

And yet, the baby advice literature suggests that if Mommy does want to drink a little alcohol, it's best to do so just after a breast feeding session.  How does this make sense when the gap between feedings is supposed to be 2 - 3 hours (at our current stage of development)?  It would seem that the advice has Mommy going to feed baby at about the same time the booze would actually be getting into the blood supply.

This is the kind of stuff that makes me frustrated with medicine and education about baby-raising.


  1. I would have the occasional glass of wine during pregnancy, and I drank maybe 2 glasses at a time, tops, while nursing. They have these "breast milk BAC test strips" at Babies R Us so you can see if they baby is getting too much alcohol, but I never used them. I think they say "none at all" to avoid people's subjective opinions of "just a little"...but I doubt it's going to do much harm to indulge every once in a while. I base this on nothing other than the justification of my own behavior :)

  2. Thanks, Jessica. And I think your experience is valid and your position legitimate - but it actually speaks to my's a highly subjective thing with highly subjective opinions, and very little fact (that I have seen or heard about).

  3. I'm somehow greatly amused by the idea of BAC test strips for the milk!

    It seems very wrong for such a thing to be marketed without an adequately conclusive body of evidence to tell you what the appropriate numbers are.